Zella Frances Howell Parks, 85, of Kinston passed away peacefully at her home surrounded by her family, Sunday, July 14, 2019. Zella was a loving mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, aunt and friend. She enjoyed spending time with her family and friends and was a member of Tanglewood Church of God. She is preceded in death by her husband John “Dempsey” (the Pepsi Man) Parks, Sr., parents Larry Sutton Howell and Sadie Dawson Howell and brother Gregor Ray Howell, Sr.
Zella is survived by her daughter Brenda Parks Johnson and husband Tony, son John Dempsey Parks, Jr., grandchildren Julie Thomas Gautier and husband Tony and Kristen Drew Thomas and fiancé Shane Harris, great-grandchildren Sadie Grace Gautier and baby sister due in August, nephews Gregor “Ray” Howell, Jr. and special friend Rhonda Heath and David “Glen” Howell and wife Alysia.
Zella attended business school and upon completion she began her 46-year career as office manager and bookkeeper with the Pepsi Cola Company of Kinston until her retirement at age 65. She loved her God and was the former pianist and organist at Westside Church for 30 years until her health declined. Zella, Dempsey, Brenda and John sang 4-part harmony as a family in church for many years.
Funeral service will be held at Howard-Carter Funeral Home, Tuesday July 16, 2019 at 7:00pm with visitation to follow with Reverend Jeff Daughtry and Pastor Allen Stocks officiating. Graveside service will be held at Westview Cemetery, Wednesday July 17, 2019 at 10:00am.
The family would like to express their sincere thanks to Asera Care Hospice for their love and care and to special friend and neighbor Mary Southerland.